Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

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I have been preoccupied lately with my upcoming trip to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
Drowning in luggage and clothes and shoes.
Oh my shoes…

I leave Friday to visit my twin and her family in Sydney.
I arrive Sunday- good bye Saturday.
I will never know what Saturday is like.

Then my sister and I will leave a few hours later for Melbourne.
My friend will pick us up there and we will spend several precious days
Talking and laughing and enjoying the Melbourne Cup.
(I hear its like the Kentucky Derby.)

I may be a little jet lagged,
But nothing a little sunshine can’t cure.

Then it’s back to Sydney for the remainder of the trip.

We have lots planned,
Including meeting up with a fellow blogger!

Melly has a great site :
http://mellywilliams.com

How great to make another connection in Sydney.
Amazing that this blog is bringing us together !

I hope to blog from Down Under,
But bare with me if it doesn’t happen much.

Luckily my husband has people who will be checking in with him.
How quiet the house will be without me!:)
I will miss him greatly!

I have packed and repacked.
Checked that I have everything I need and pray that the flights go well.
I even voted today since I will be gone during the election.

It seems so weird to think that this trip,
My sixth to Australia,
I am going alone.

Never have I gone overseas by myself.
Of course when I get there I will be with family.
But the travel is the longest part.

I have much to look forward to in both directions.
Anticipation high. Minutes will last hours.

I don’t care to have too much alone time.
I like being with my family and friends.
Who will I share looks with when I see something crazy?
Or share stories with from my gossip magazines?
Or talk over plans while on the trip?
Or discuss highlights on the way back?

It’s this moment that I can appreciate having a husband and family and friends to have always shared these small and seemingly non-important conversations.

Those conversations where people see the real me.
My thoughts and feelings on nothingness.

I feel so lucky to be going back to Australia and to have so much love in my life!

I am sure my thoughts will be with everyone as I fly or my hours spent in airports.
Counting my blessings.

So until the next blog…
G’day.

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Bad Fur Day

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Poor Cooper!

He is not my big fluff ball right now.

It started with the leaves, I think.
He loves to wade through leaves!
I don’t know if its the sound or feel,
But he almost gets covered as he drifts through the yard.

Well those leaves,
Leave him itchy.
Most years a Benedryl will do the trick.
Not this year.

He has been suffering with allergies horribly this fall.

Scratching and licking to the point of losing fur.
Big clumps found in every room.
We went to our vet
And Coop got an allergy shot and is now on steroids.

Our poor baby isn’t quite himself.

Then yesterday was hair cut day.

We thought a shorter cut would help him,
But now he just looks sad.

He knows he looks different.
He doesn’t like his cut.
Shih tzu’s are very proud and always play up their adorability to the unsuspecting visitors and friends and when wanting a snack or asking you to play fetch.

The meaning of shih tzu in Chinese is “lion dog.”
When I think of lion,
Besides cuddly and ok furocious,
I think of their big mane.

When visitors arrive,
Coogee and Cooper shake their “mane” and bark as if they embody the king of the jungle.
Not that they can think about doing anything other than jumping on whoever (and I do mean anyone) that enters.
(Yes I know that’s bad and I do want to stop this behavior.)

Did I say how much they love attention and winning people over?!

They strut when they look good.
But poor cooper…
Well the hair will grow back.

Now Coogee has finer hair and not as many allergy problems.
So, her hair looks good.

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She’s even kind of razzing Coop.
Almost laughing in his face as she struts past.

Poor Cooper boy.

Good thing it’s sweater weather.

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Unworthy Yet Loved

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I don’t deserve the friends I have.

I know that God loves me so much and wants me to feel that unconditional love.

Most days this comes in the form of others love for me.
And while I am not this saint of a person,
I am human and stained from birth.
(Thanks Eve.)
This doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be loved.
Though I feel unworthy.

Still…I have the most awesome friends!

Let me explain.
Just this week –

1. My best highschool girlfriend supported me through reunion fears.
I had this irrational thought that no one would know who I am and that I would be sitting by my lonesome.

Besides the fact that I spent a good amount of time flipping through the yearbook trying to memorize every name in my class,
worried that I would have my mouth hanging open as I clearly could not recall this person’s name who would be standing in front of me expectantly, big smile on their face.
(I imagine in detail.)

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Now, I was not treated mean in high school.
(Though in grade school there was one girl who was mean to me and I still struggle with forgiving her.)
I had many different friends and I normally can get along with most people.

Still…a voice whispered,
“You have gained weight,
You are not good enough
You will say something embarrassing…”

So….my bestie was willing (though a year younger) to go with me to the bar where we were meeting so that I had not only a way out if caught in an awkward nightmare, but a friend to share a drink with.

She would have held my hand if I asked.
She didn’t push me or tell me I should do it.
She waited (up to the last few minutes) for me to “man up” and decide.

I love her!

The reunion was good.
I actually remembered people’s names!
And what is more- they remembered me.
It was very pleasant and I am happy I went.

Currently this very same friend is helping me with our annual Halloween party.
She loves to be creative (like me) and has great ideas!
I was struggling with scavenger hunt clues, so guess who pulled through? Yes, my BFF.

2. My dear friend of many years came over for a visit one evening.
We met through work almost 20 years ago and while separated at times of our life due to changing jobs and both of us getting married,
God has always brought us back together –
over and over!

It had been months since we had some quality time, which is unusual for us.
So when we put this date on the calendar, I was so excited.

She made me a birthday cake (coconut – my favorite!) and sang to me
(Because we didn’t get to celebrate my birthday months ago. )
We caught up on all the adventures our lives have taken us on recently and shared our plans for what is next to come.

She always makes me laugh and is such a joy to be around!
Did I mention she made me a cake?!
And the icing was homemade.
(Maybe not a big deal to some, but so special to someone who buys her cakes.)
I just love her!

3. My lovely husband supported me in the following areas:
-finding new glasses,
(Hello! I had a near freak out over glasses and he remained calm!)
-the reunion situation, providing wisdom (“I would love for you to stay home with me, but I don’t want you to regret not going”. Yes, his actual words. )
-watching old movies (“Classics” that I had never heard of! I turned on TCM early in the morning when I couldn’t sleep.)

We laughed and joked about how inappropriate they would be considered now
(for instance, a mother telling her daughter to marry rich or a young mother telling grandpa to just spank her 6 month old baby if he cried)
even though some people think movies today are so “bad” or distasteful.

We saw one where a young girl was the talk of town when she went “driving” with all these boys (not to mention getting caught with an old guy)
and accepting gifts from them each.
She did just have her heart broken and was acting out,
but well…lets just say papa was not proud of her reputation.
In the end she was shot.
Yah she died.
Not a pretty ending.

So…anyway we watched several of these crazy “Classics” and I just love that he and I can still laugh together and have a great time-
Just the two of us.

He has seen my ugliest days
(In every way) and (hopefully) my best days too.
He is still my friend.
After 20 plus years together.

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These are just some of the friends in my life.

Do you see why I feel so lucky?

I have more that pray with me
and for me.
That dance with me and share stories and experiences.
I have sisters who are my friends and friends who are my sisters.

How did I get all of these beautiful friends ?!

Once again,
I am not worthy of such love.

Yet just know this,
If I have this much love,
Me, a sinner and human full of human faults,
Then doesn’t that say something about how God wants me to know I am loved?

Thank you friends!
All of you!
You have made my week (and every week)!
I love you each!

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
― William Shakespeare

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― C.S. Lewis

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Got Funk?

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Last night we got funky!
Oh yeah.
Funky.

We went to a concert featuring
Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Dr. John entered with so much Na’Orlens (New Orleans to me)
Swagger it stank.

Ya get what I’m sayin’?!

Cool mo,
Voice gritty smooth,
Playing the piano and organ at the same time!

Funk.
Pure and rhythmic.
Tapping your toes,
Clapping along,
And then…

The Blind Boys come out.

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Man.
Can I just say their presence and very essence wafts over the crowd in that instance.

You feel their souls pouring out.
Spirituals sung with gusto and glory.
You start swaying and
Feeling!

“Amazing Grace” to the tune
Of “House of the Rising Sun.”
Moving and powerful beyond words.

When they came down to walk through the crowd you were graced with a joyful soul.

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Another highlight,
Lady trombone playing the very life out of her instrument.
Funk can’t quite describe her voice.
Whining and stretching the notes deep within.

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A Sunday night funk-fest
Roof swelling with the sounds of souls
Sharing their stories.

We got funked
And loved every minute!

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Become A Fan, You Know You Want To

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The St. LouisCardinals vs. San Fran Giants.
I was there last night with my dad, sister and brother -in-law.

Let me preface this by saying,
I always go to the second home game of the NLCS and they seem to lose.

I felt horrible about taking my dad to a losing playoff game.
I mean I am a jinx.
I knew chances were not good that we win.
I mean everyone in baseball knows you have to play your part to help the team.
So … I was a little iffy about going.

But it’s the playoffs!!!!

They are so much fun!
I mean who else has the Clydesdales!
Does your team?
No?
They don’t race around your stadium?
Well…they are huge and majestic creatures.
Just shimmering as they gracefully parade around Busch Stadium.

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Stan the Man started us off right by rounding the stadium in classic Cardinal style to bring in the Ceremonial ball.
Then Ozzie expertly glided in the first pitch.
After his son, Nicco sang the National Anthem. (Quite beautifully too.)

(If I have to explain who these people are, well I am pretty sure you aren’t into baseball.)

Fans cheering-
their hearts out on the field with their favorite players.

Who else can best understand your emotions as you anxiously watch that game winning pitch go screaming across home plate?!

Who else is there to watch the foul ball fly two rows behind you?

Who else will completely abandon the idea that you are a stranger?
I mean we are in this together.
We all play a part.

Beer, nachos, hot dog, rally towel…
All fair game to end up in the air as something great transpires on the field.

Or something you disagree with…

But mostly you are there,
In unspoken agreement,
To love and support the Cardinals together.
To be sad or mad or excited…together.

Don’t you want to be a part of that?!

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Last night was a great showing for us.
(By us, I mean the Cardinals because all us fans get to take ownership of a win.)

My dad may have canceled out the jinx in me!
He said he doesn’t believe in that and was insistent they would win.
He carefully took score between standing up to cheer and swinging the rally towel, screaming for our Cardinals.
Giving fist bumps and high fives to all around us.

Who wanted this win more-
The actual Cardinals or the die hard fans?

The win was beautiful with fireworks and cheers and laughter as we were instantly cattle moving along
towards the exit gates.

It doesn’t matter that there are 47,000 people all leaving at the same time.
What mattered was the win and your instant connection to every “Birds on the Bat” fan.

Tonight will be a rally like no other.

Hoping beyond hope to clinch at home.
To make it another year to the World Series.
Sometimes beyond reason and even with a jinx in the crowd,
The Cardinals surprise you and tip their cap to you as once again they pull it off.

Will tonight be that night?

I wish I could say we were going,
But I won’t be there to watch my Cardinals.

Don’t you want to become a fan?
Just for one more night.
One more party.
One more celebration.

Cardinals Nation welcomes everyone!
No fees, only tickets.
And well… Those are worth every penny.

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The Drive

the drive- an original by Michelle Keller

I have what it takes

the drive

to go where I need to go.

I have what it takes

the drive

to be who I want to be.

I am not a stranger now

to the image in the mirror

I know my strengths somehow

pushed through all the sludge that appeared

I have what it takes

the drive

to be where I want to be.

I have what it takes

the drive

to be with whom I want to be.

Confidence broke the glass

shattering pains of past

memories growing dim

my life now full brim

an original among

“them.”

I have what it takes

the drive

to be

me.

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Drifting

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Drifting.
Floating along the wide expanse
Above the noise of everyday life
The world at a standstill
As you move slowly without purpose.

Never quite able to touch the soft and subtle clouds.
They giggle as they escape the clasp of your long fingers.
You take time to play, imagine, ” be”.
Stress filled lines full of tension
Give way to peaceful sighs and
The wrinkles that go with smiles.

This scene as you drift
Creates an ambience found nowhere else.
Forever sound and smell and
sight and feeling
linked to memory
Memory to smile.

Drifting.
Floating.
Gracefully floating.
Senses on high alert as constant colors and scenes of life from above
Fill the mind.
Overwhelmed in a good way.

The books you could write
If more time was spent drifting.
Aware of the present yet
Not yet reminded of duties that await your return.
The phone that will beep with texts and emails and calls-
Forgotten.

Deep breath as you let your mind drift to the feel of cold air on fingertips.
Living in the moment.
A breath
A break.
Thanksgiving comes natural in the midst of allowing yourself to “be.”

Drifting.
You know the end is near.
It has to end.
There would be no peace without knowing angst.
But now
After this breath
You can step back into reality with a relaxed face.
Counting your blessings and ready to take on what is to come.

There will be another day
Where all you do
Is
Drift.

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Eye Can’t Do It!

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I realize so many people wear contacts,
But I just now joined the pack.

You people make it look so easy!
Oh sure just put it in.
Don’t even look!

When the doctor went to put it in,
She said “concentrate on your other eye.”
What?
I mean I see a finger at this eye.

My eyes were like,
“You wanna what?!
Poke me with something?!
No.” Blink.

Then they go through this video about caring for your contacts and I could only think,
Ok let me do it.
(They won’t let you out until you put them in and take them out.)

It took me forever!
The lady even walked away.
I had a near meltdown.

My mom was with me and said,
“Do you want me to put it in for you?”

Me- a late thirty-something having her mom help her put contacts in?

No. I didn’t let her, but geez it was not fun.
I somehow convinced the lady to let us go after achieving success.
She really wanted me to stay and practice awhile longer ,
I wasn’t having it.

I am getting better, but not yet getting it on the first time.

My eyes hurt from poking them and I am realizing contacts may not be for me.

Today,
While taking them out
(Which hasn’t been a problem),
My dog distracted me
(Yes, I am blaming my dog)
And suddenly I couldn’t find my lens!
What in the world?
My hand was at my eye,
Turn to correct my dog,
Turn back- where is my contact?

I had Brian look in my eye to make sure it wasn’t still there.
I was worried it was stuck to my hair,
Because I had swung around and my hand brushed through my hair.

Moments later,
I actually found it in the sink
After thoroughly shaking my head and searching the counter.

Thank God for the slight blue edge.

This should not be a traumatic experience.

I should just be able to quickly,
Without a thought
Put this small and delicate lens
Onto my eye.

So many do it every day.

They say it gets easier,
But I just don’t know about that.

Maybe they aren’t for me and my apparent sensitive eyes.

Can I also say that looking for new frames just isn’t as fun as it should be?

Maybe it’s my shape of face,
Or my romanticizing the experience,
But I did not enjoy trying on glasses.

Now my very supportive husband
Helped me stay calm and focused but
Once again,
Near meltdown.

I thought I would find this perfect pair that would transform me.

You know,
Those trendy and oh so cool glasses that change your whole look for the better.
Suddenly becoming “stylish.”

Well, I found a pair of I think adorable frames,
Definitely better than what I have,
But it wasn’t that
“Oh my gosh! Those are hot!” pair.

So, my experience with glasses and contacts this week has been trying.
Only made better because of my very patient (this day) husband and a Cinnamon dolce latte (Starbucks).

What has your experience been like?

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Autumn Brilliance

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I love a great fall leaf.
I mean in the midwest we have such brilliant yellows and fluorescent oranges and bright reds.
None in our yard, but still…

Brian and I are forever looking for that perfect tree that will add the ambience and peace of autumn.

I had a favorite tree that used to be across from Brian’s apartment (many years back).
I never took the time to photograph and freeze that glimpse of God in nature.
It grew old as we grew up and several years ago someone took it down.

It was a sad moment for me,
Probably because of memories related to Brian and I in our early love stage,
Remembered because we would often look out the window to see the bold and outspoken presence of that tree.

Remember the book,
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein?
(If not please check it out.)
I am often reminded of that book when thinking of these glorious trees in their splendor.
Giving all they can, even when we may not appreciate it.

I believe them to be the best works of art God created.
The shapes and bends and twists and blends of colors…how can you define a tree as “just a tree?”

And autumn trees shine above all.
So many people drive through the countryside each weekends to capture their beauty in a photo they can frame.
People arrange their vacations around this season so they can go to Vermont or Maine solely to be in the presence of such glorious colors.

The brilliance of it all…
Calling us to reflection and quiet.
Begging us to come outside and just “be.”
We are urged to open up windows and to stop and take it in.
The Master of art-
He did it.
Perfection in leaves and branches.
Whispering..,
“Breathe. Peace. Love.”

So…
We will continue our hunt for the perfect blend of that orange or red leaved tree to bring home.
One that will inspire and grow and give.
One that whispers.

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Oh So Lovely…

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First, thank you to Ashley who happened to think my blog was lovely!

Check out her wit filled blog at:

Everything Is Blooming

I must say that I had everything ready to post and the whole post disappeared!

So frustrating… but here I go again.

Instead of 7 boring facts about me,

I feel that I should let you know a little about Coogee and Cooper since so many visit my blog for them!

7 great things about Coogee and Cooper:

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1. I mean the obvious is that they are adorable!

They have some silly traits.

Coogee loves to run really fast. Especially when someone comes to visit and she wants to show off. She will run in a big circle and come up and bounce her paws off of you and give a little bark. She has a huge smile on her face as she urges you to follow.

Cooper likes to take the end of the toilet paper and walk with it. I often find him laying with those big eyes looking up at me, as he has one end in his mouth and a trail behind him back to the roll.

2. They love to sleep in bed with us.

Coogee is comforted by the fact that we are there and happily sleeps on the end of the bed.

Cooper on the other hand, likes to cuddle. I often wake to him nestled in the blankets, head on the pillow next to me. Don’t tell him he is a dog!

3. Coogee is smart and rings the bell on the door when she has to go potty.

She knows how to “walk” and “dance” and other assorted manners.

Cooper is all boy- burping and farting and barking when he has to go out.

He doesn’t care to do tricks except circles for treats.

4. Coogee is scared of thunderstorms and runs to Brian for protection.

Cooper pretty much lives in his own small world, as long as there are cuddles and treats he is happy.

5. Coogee is not a fan of riding in the car. She does much better when riding in her doggie booster with Cooper.

Cooper loves to go for a ride. He doesn’t care where, although he loves his Saturday morning drives with “daddy.”

6. They love to eat their cousin dogs food, even though Coogee wanted nothing to do with it when we tried to feed it to her at home.

7. They don’t like or need a lot of exercise.

In fact Cooper has been known to flop down in the middle of the road while walking.

(Even a short distance)

There are a lot of great dogs out there waiting for adoption.

I encourage you to research which breed of dog suits your lifestyle.

We have definitely found ours!

Here are some blogs that are not only lovely, but highly recommended (by me):

Imagination Inspiration

Russel Ray Photography

Christian Mihai

My 2nd Heartbeat

The Sandy Side of Life

Amy Davies

Wind Against Current

I hope you can check out Ashley’s blog and all of these great sites!

Thanks again, Ashley!

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